Socialist Worker

Fresh strikes on South Western to derail plan to scrap guards

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2613

A previous walkout against driver only operation

A previous walkout against driver only operation (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The RMT union has announced a fresh round of strikes on the South Western Railway (SWR) as part of a long-running dispute over driver only operation (DOO).

Workers are set to walk out on Thursday and Saturday of next week, Tuesday 31 July and for six days in August—including over the bank holiday weekend.

They are fighting to keep guards on trains to maintain safety and accessibility for passengers. The RMT had previously suspended action for talks.

But now the union says SWR bosses plan to roll out DOO regardless, making a “mockery” of the negotiations.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said workers want a “guard guarantee that we have successfully negotiated in Wales, Scotland and other parts of England”.

He said bosses were “determined to put private profits before public safety at a time of unprecedented and dangerous pressure on their services”.

News of fresh action on SWR came as the RMT called off a walkout on Northern Rail due to “productive talks”. Workers had been set to strike this Saturday.

Solidarity from other trade unionists and coordinated action has the power to beat back bosses’ attempts to push through DOO.


Solid walkout at Tube depot in Ruislip

Train maintenance and stores workers at London Underground’s Ruislip depot struck last week.

The RMT union members walked out for 24 hours last Thursday—and for 12 hour stints last Friday and Sunday. Workers at the west London depot are responsible for operating and maintaining the Tube’s fleet of engineering trains.

They are fighting for pay parity. But the RMT says bosses have only offered “productivity measures” and job losses.


Strikes loom on Eurostar

RMT members on the Eurostar are set to strike on Saturday 28 July.

Workers voted by 93 percent to strike over working conditions, which have resulted in service failures and breakdowns.


A planned 52-hour walkout on the Piccadilly Line was called off due to “significant progress” at conciliation service Acas.


 


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